98.5% of the world's countries has adopted the International System of Units (or SI units), which utilizes meters, kilograms, degrees Kelvin/Celsius, etc. as base units. The United States is one of three countries in the world that has not officially adopted SI units, instead preferring customary units such as feet and pounds. Some argue that there are too many aspects of life in the United States that are too culturally entwined to US customary units to adopt SI units. However, in today's globalized world, not adopting SI units may harm the US more than it helps.
Do you think the US should adopt SI units? Why or why not?
Answer by kyle_on_the_radio · Jul 14, 2010 at 01:10 AM
Were so trapped and in the old system and our country is probably the hardest in the world to change. Mostly because of distance, were the largeat country in the world where there are a lot of people living everywhere. It's not like that in Canada or Russia where everyone lives near the border where it's warm. Updates take a VERY long time.
But we're making progress, American cars have MPH and KPH.
Answer by Granit · Jul 14, 2010 at 05:43 PM
I do believe we should through a long transitional phase. From how intertwined it is and the massive costs to do so, it would take at least 3-4 decades if not more to fully adopt SI Units at this point.
Answer by smcade · Jul 14, 2010 at 06:07 PM
I find it interesting that road measurements were required to be in metric until about five years ago. Then they went back to just feet and inches. That change made me realize that we would (never) get it right. At least not in my lifetime.
Yes I think we should change, but the reality is that even parts made in China are coming in in inches. So we are reverse engineering societies that have adapted SI!
It really is so much easier to figure out SI measurements rather than fractions.
Answer by Josh_M · Jul 14, 2010 at 05:36 PM
It would actually be pretty difficult to change to the metric system instantaneously. It is pretty difficult to learn after we have been using our system for so long. Let me ask the English this: Why don't you try to learn our system?
That's not to say that you should, but think about it, it would be just as difficult for you to do it as us learning the metric system. The government and companies should start to slowly introduce it to get people used to it. And that means more than just in your car and on a thermometer.
Answer by freon101 · Jul 14, 2010 at 05:45 PM
Josh_M, Let me ask you this: Where do you think "your" system came from!? Almost the entire rest of the world has changed from another system to SI over the last few decades. I'm sure even Americans could manage it with a bit of effort.
Answer by bradto · Jul 14, 2010 at 06:05 PM
We should convert to the metric system because it is a much easier system to use than the so-called English system. However, it would be a huge cost to do so, and it would take a while for everyone to get use to the metric system. For a global economy, everyone should be using the same system of measure.
Answer by Paddis · Jul 14, 2010 at 06:12 PM
What's so difficult about learning a new system? I can (almost) understand the Imperial system. I suppose since you haven't implemented the metric system yet you're not about to change that any time soon.
Answer by VideoNurse · Jul 14, 2010 at 07:08 PM
Coming from the medical world (working in clinics and hospitals), it is already required that we document in the metric system, for safety's sake. Twenty years ago, I was already being forced to negotiate the waters of knowing both systems. When I visited England for the first time, I had to learn what a "stone" was in terms of pounds and kilos. We are never too old to learn, but the transition should be natural. Packaging and signs could start placing the metric system units in bold type and first, with the customary units second.
The hardest adjustment for me has been using Asian and European cookbooks, with recipes listed only in SI units. Then again, what the hell is a "dash" of anything? :)